System Restore Failed with error 0x81000204 in Windows 10 Fix

System Restore is a very important feature that comes to the rescue to solve any issue within the system when all the workarounds and fixes fail. However, what can we do when we face issues with the System restore itself. Well, there are a few fixes that can help you resolve issues with System restore.

Some users have been seeing the following error with System Restore

System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer’s system files and settings were not changed.
Details: System Restore failed while scanning the file system on drive C:\.
The drive might be corrupt. You might want to retry system restore after running chkdsk /R on this disk.
An unspecified error occurred during System Restore. (0x81000204)

Common Causes for this error are :

  • Damaged / Corrupted System Files
  • Damaged Hard Disk
  • Malware and Virus attack

In this article, let us discuss different ways to fix the error 0x81000204 with System restore in detail.

Fix 1: Repair – Upgrade Windows using the Windows Installation Media

Please note that using this method, the system restore may start working. However, the previously created restore points will not be available.

Step 1: Visit this link and download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Step 2: Double on the .exe file to run the application.

Step 3: In the UAC prompt which asks for permission, simply click on Yes

Step 4: You will be prompted to accept the License Agreement. Click on Accept 


License Agreement


Step 5: After seeing the Getting a few things ready screen, you will have to accept  Applicable notices and license terms.

Step 6: In the window, click on Upgrade this PC now and click on the Next button


Upgrade this PC now



Step 7: Follow the steps and upgrade the Windows.

Step 8: Once the system upgrades, run the System Restore.

Step 9: If you see that System restore is not turned ON in the system as shown below, then follow the below steps

1. Open Run Dialog holding Windows+R

2. Type sysdm.cpl and hit Enter



Sysdm Cpl In Run


3.In the System Properties window, from the System Protection tab, click on Configure



System Properties



4. In the appearing window, Tick the Turn on System protection

5. Press Apply and then click on OK



System Protection



Now check if the system restore works.


Fix 2: Disable and then Enable System Restore

Step 1: Open command prompt with Administrative privileges(Refer Step 1, 2 from Fix 3)

Step 2: In the command prompt window that opens , type the below commands one after the other. Make sure to hit Enter after each command

reg delete “HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\SystemRestore” /v “DisableSR” /f
reg delete “HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\SystemRestore” /v “DisableConfig” /f
reg add “HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\SPP\\Clients” /v ” {09F7EDC5-294E-4180-AF6A-FB0E6A0E9513}” /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d “1” /f
schtasks /Change /TN “Microsoft\\Windows\\SystemRestore\\SR” /Enable
vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=25GB
sc config wbengine start= demand
sc config swprv start= demand
sc config vds start= demand
sc config VSS start= demand


Step 3: Restart the system and check if the System Restore is working fine.

If not, try the next fix.

Fix 5: Try Resetting the Repository

Step 1: Boot the system in Safe Mode( without Networking). Please refer to the link 3 ways to Boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10

Step 2: Open Command Prompt with Admin rights (Refer Step 1, 2 from Fix 3)

Step 3: Let us stop Windows Management Instrumentation Service. To do so, Enter the below command and hit Enter

net stop winmgmt


net stop winmgt cmd



Step 4: Open explorer window using Windows+E  and navigate to the location C:\Windows\System32\wbem

Step 5: Search and locate the repository folder

Step 6: Right-click on the repository folder and choose Rename. Rename the folder to repository_old



repository folder rename



Step 7: Restart the System

Step 8: Open Command Prompt with Admin Rights( Refer Steps 1, 2 from Fix 3)

Step 9: Issue the below commands and hit Enter after every command

net stop winmgmt
winmgmt /resetRepository


Step 10: Restart the system again and check if the System Restore works properly.

If not try the next fix.

Fix 3: Use the Memory Diagnostic Tool

Step 1: Pressing the buttons Windows+r at the same time, open the Run Dialog.

Step 1: In the blank text area, type mdsched.exe, and Press OK



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Step 12: In the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool window that opens, choose Restart now and check for problems(recommended). 


WMD Tool


Step 3: Follow the instructions and fix the errors if any.

Step 4: Now, try if the System Restore works. If not, try the next fix.

Fix 4: Check if certain services are running and change their startup type

Step 1: Open Run Dialog (Windows+r)

Step 2: Type services.msc and hit OK





Step 3: In the Services window, locate the following services :

  • Volume shadow copy
  • Multimedia Class Scheduler
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • DCOM Server Process Launcher
  • Plug and Play.


Step 4: Make sure these services are running. In case the Status of the service is empty, then click on the Start the service


Start the service




Step 5: Once, all the services listed above are running. Check if the system Restore is working as expected. If not, try the below steps.

Step 6: Change the Startup type of the service and check

For example, Volume Shadow Copy has the Startup Type Manual. Since the system restore is not working with this setup, change the Startup type to Automatic. Similarly, if a service has the startup type Automatic and is not working, then change it to manual.

Now, check if the System Restore works, if not make changes to the next service listed and check again.

Steps for Changing the startup type are as follows:

1. Right-click on Service and choose Properties


right-click properties




2. In the Startup type drop-down, choose Automatic

3. Finally, click on Apply and then OK


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Check if this fixes the issue.

Fix 5: Check for Disk error using CHKDSK

Step 1: Hold the keys Window+R 

Step 2: In the Run Dialog, type cmd and hold the keys Ctrl+Shift+Enter  to open a command prompt with Administrative privileges.






Step 3: If a User Account Control prompts for asking permission, click on Yes

Step 4: In the command prompt window, type the below command and hit Enter

chkdsk /f /r



chkdsk command



Step 6: You will see a message “Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts” (Y/N). Click on and hit Enter

Step 7: Reboot your system.

Check if this resolves the issue. If not try the next fix.

Fix 6: Check for Virus in the system and fix them

Sometimes, the viruses and malware in the system can affect the working of the Diagnostic Service Policy.

Step 1: Hold the keys Windows+r and open the Run Window

Step 2: Type ms-settings:windowsdefender and press OK






Step 3: In the settings window, choose Virus & Threat Protection






Step 4: In the window that opens, click on Scan Options



Scan Options



Step 5: Choose Full scan and press on Scan now button



Full Scan




Once the scan finishes, it notifies about any viruses and malware in the system. Take necessary steps to mitigate them.

In case you are still seeing the same error, then try the next fix.

Fix 7: Repair Windows image using DISM commands

Step 1: Open Run Dialog. Use the shortcut Window+r

Step 2: In the Dialog, type cmd and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter





Step 3: In the command prompt window that opens, Enter the following commands. Please don’t forget to hit Enter after each command.

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth



Step 4: Restart your system and check if the System restore works

If not, try the next fix.

That’s All

We hope this has been informative. Kindly comment and let us know which of the above methods helped.

Thank you for Reading.